Former PayU India MD Jitendra Gupta joins BharatPe board

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Fintech startup BharatPe has appointed Jitendra Gupta, the former PayU India managing director, to its board, the Delhi-based company announced on Tuesday.

The announcement comes about three weeks after Gupta resigned from the Naspers-owned fintech major PayU India, where he held the role of managing director, and led its consumer credit business.

“We are elated to have Jitendra Gupta on the Board of BharatPe. At PayU, his contribution was instrumental in growing the company to great heights, and BharatPe is just at the stage, where Jitendra’s insights and experience can support our next phase of growth,” Ashneer Grover, chief executive of BharatPe, said in a prepared statement.

The board position is also the first one to be undertaken by Gupta since stepping down from PayU. He joins BharatPe founders Grover and Shashvat Nakrani, Harshjit Sethi, principal at Sequoia Capital and Teruhide Sato, founder of early-stage investment firms Beenos Group and Beenext, both of which are existing backers of BharatPe.

US-based investment firm Insight Partners is a board observer, according to the press statement.

“BharatPe is one of the few fintech companies in India creating a truly alternative lending business on the back of UPI acceptance. Their focus on merchants and the pace of execution is unprecedented. I am excited to see how BharatPe has been digitising small merchants and truly driving the financial inclusion agenda of the government,” Gupta said.

Earlier this month, ET was the first to report that Gupta, 37, had put in his papers at PayU India, which he had joined in 2016, post the acquisition of Citrus Pay, which he had co-founded, by the Naspers-owned fintech company for $130 million.

The Sydenham College of Commerce and Economics graduate, and who is also a chartered accountant, was given the task of building PayU’s consumer business from grounds up, while also spearheading PayU Finance’s move to the personal loan space, among others. Gupta is expected to launch his new venture over the course of the next few months.

“Both Jitendra and I are hardcore bankers at heart and excited to build the next generation of digi-banking businesses in India. Jitendra is a highly respected and objective founder and I look up to him to keep us honest to the multi-billion opportunity at hand,” Grover said.

Earlier this year, TOI, citing multiple sources, reported that BharatPe, a QR code-based payments app for offline merchants, was in talks to raise about $75-$100 million from three new investors, which could turn out to be one of the largest series B rounds for an Indian startup.

In April, the company had raised $15 million in its Series A round from Sequoia Capital, Insight Partners, and Beenext.

In its company-issued statement, BharatPe claims to have established a network of 11 lakh merchants and facilitate over 15 million monthly UPI transactions. The company, which has established operations in 13 cities, says it is on track to touch $1 billion annualised processing value by Diwali, and serve over 25 Lakh merchants on its network by the end of 2019.

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